Although there are a number of superhero-focused dramas across both cable networks and streaming services - with even more in the works to debut in the coming years - many have established unique tones to set them apart. The CW's shared DC Comics universe may arguably be the most faithful comic book adaptations, while Gotham took Batman's home city and crafted a crime procedural of sorts. Marvel's Defenders universe on Netflix taps into gritty, street-level superheroes, while ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. falls more into the realm of spy drama. Still, one genre comic book superheroes have failed to enter is comedy - that is, until NBC's Powerless debuts this winter.
Set in a world filled with DC Comics superheroes - though not a world connected to any known shared universe as of now - Powerless follows the employees of Retcon Insurance Co. who deal with claims related to the antics of the crime-fighting superpowered heroes. The half-hour workplace comedy will star Spring Breakers' Vanessa Hudgens as Emily Locke, a powerless character who learns she has her own kind of power when she becomes a hero of sorts to the people of her city. Now, Hudgens recently discussed how one of DC Comics' most iconic superheroes fits into Powerless.
In an interview with DC All Access [h/t ComicBook.com] at this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, Hudgens revealed that Wonder Woman will be namedropped in the pilot episode of Powerless, as a means to introduce viewers to the world in which the NBC comedy takes place. Hudgens said:
"The first claim that Emily Locke is working on is one caused by Wonder Woman. Just sets the tone I think."
The Wonder Woman claim that Hudgens references was also included in the Powerless trailer that NBC debuted during its upfronts presentation earlier this year. The trailer featured Hudgens' character and a number of other agents from Retcon debating whether or not damaged caused by Wonder Woman constitutes an act of God since she is a demi-god. As for which heroes are confirmed to appear in Powerless, Crimson Fox appears in the pilot episode along with villain Jack O'Lantern.
In addition to Hudgens, Powerless co-stars Danny Pudi (Community) as Emily's friend in the office, Teddy; Alan Tudyk (Firefly) as the power-mad new boss of the claims department, Del Heller; Christina Kirk (A to Z) as the office's biggest superhero fan Jackie; and comedian Ron Funches (Undateable) as Ron, who retains his childlike enthusiasm for superheroes. Certainly, its capacity for weaving known DC Comics superheroes into the more everyday world populated by strong comedic talent gives Powerless the unique opportunity to be the first successful comic book-based half-hour comedy.
That said, Powerless has seen a shakeup behind the scenes recently, when the show's creator Ben Queen (A to Z) parted ways with NBC in what was described as a mutual decision. Powerless was ordered to series earlier this year, with the show expected to debut at the midseason, but it's unclear how the departure of the showrunner will affect that timetable - or the series that viewers will eventually see when it does premiere. Still, Powerless has plenty working in its favor - like a namedrop of DC's beloved Wonder Woman - so it remains to be seen how this workplace comedy will fare with audiences.
Powerless is expected to air on NBC as a midseason premiere in 2017.
Source: DC All Access [via ComicBook.com]